Photography, Lessons Learned, and Cycling.
I have been taking pictures since I was about 6 years old. I started with a Kodak Instamatic. Just holding that Kodak was fun back then. Today, the camera badge may say "Nikon", but the fun of taking someone's photograph is still there.
Times have changed regarding photography over the past 20 years. My first business was in in Corpus Chirsti, Texas back in 1992. I went under the same name, my name, David Whitney French Photography. One of my favorite photo gigs was doing weddings. Why? Well, besides being a challenge at times, with the stress of getting the right shot in the age of film, everyone was happy! It was a happy time for the groom, bride, attendants, everyone. What more could I ask for? Hanging out, with a camera for a few hours or more with a bunch of happy people.
Oh, and I like riding my bike!
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My last assignment I did involved photographing a man retiring from a job he had held for the past 25 plus years with the same company. I looked to take a number of photographs of the gentleman sitting at his desk, where he spent a good deal of his time. Once I had a few shots I liked, I made them black and white, as I think this gives the photograph a bit more inner meaning and thoughtfulness than what you normally get in a color photograph. I am not sure if people agree with that, but I think black and white instills a feeling of possibilities and questions. Black and white can bring the viewer into the picture a bit longer than when the viewer is looking at full color.
For this set up, I used my Nikon D610 and mostly natural lighting. A few shots in the gallery were shot with on speed light bounced off the white ceiling.
The shot taken above was my favorite, as the individual was in the middle of an important conference call and was under a bit of stress. I think some of that may come through here, but in the same vein, you get a sense of the important decisions that have to be made from this office chair.
I recently got the chance to work with Tugg and her owner, Rachel on a shoot in Marana. The subject was a small, friendly dog and had quite a bit of energy. I found that when your subject has a tendency to move, you need to be able to as well. That called for a one light set-up, and a light weight one at that. Using a YN-560 III on a small light stand and a portable soft box by Impact, I was able to carry my Nikon D610 with a 70-200 lens all over. I will say that having a smaller flash on a stand worked well. I captured these images after clicking the shutter quite a few times.
So on a recent trip to Saint Louis, I had to get a photo of one of the most famous icons of the mid-west, the Saint Louis Arch. I had one of my favorite cameras, the Olympus OMD-EM5 mark 2, and took this shot with the sun just ready to set in the west. I had to drive to a number of places before I was able to get a view without cranes and other distractions being visible in the photograph. I used some of the filters that were available in Windows 10 Photo program to enhance this image to a degree.
The key to some great photographs is being able to use the sun. The magic "sun" hour is usually one hour before sunset, and one hour prior to sunrise. That is the item when the suns angle is less overhead and more at and angle. This can bring out some pretty awesome colors to a photo. On a recent trip to Parker Arizona, I met up with a bunch to go on an evening ride along the Colorado River. I got out a little early, camera in hand to check out some of the sights nearby. I cam across this railroad bridge while riding my bike from Parker, across the Colorado River to Earp. As I was riding by, I was amazed at the way the sun shone on the concrete and the water. Of course, I had to stop to snap a photo. The one you see below...
So the other day I got the GoPro Hero 5. I wanted to update my Hero 2. As good as the GoPro Cameras work as action video cameras, I wanted a small camera that could take stills as well and at the same time, fit in the back of a jersey pocket on a bicycle.
The climb to the Palisades was the first test for me using the Hero 5 and I can say I was impressed enough to keep using it for situations when I need something ultra-compact, but still capable of decent photographs.
On the way to the Palisades, I passed San Pedro Vista. This lookout point hold a special place for me, as it was here that I made a turn to head back down the mountain one day last October while training for the Mount Graham State Hill Climb. On the way down from the overlook, just past Molino Basin, I hit some rocks at 38 miles per hour, causing both of my bike tires to explode and landing me in the hospital. The San Pedro Vista is a beautiful place, as it overlooks the San Pedro River Valley, a desert between the Tortilla and Galiuro Mountains, but on that in October 2015, I wondered if I would ever make it up there again on a bicycle.
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